Where and when does it end?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Nessie, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. Nessie

    Nessie Member

    My son has been moved out now for five months and his life has taken a turn for the worse. He looks awful (clearly using something) and refusing to get help for depression or whatever mental illness that is destroying us all.

    Initially, he improved and I thought he might find some happiness. He spoke about finding work and maybe travelling. This last six weeks he has steadily deteriorated and I can feel my heart becoming more and more heavy. Last night he came home for a meal and I couldn't bite my tongue and told him how bad he looked and that he was a drug addict. He took massive offence to this and left, of course I followed and tried to calm the situation to no avail, I was not prepared to shout and chase him in the street on this occasion, no stomach for drama anymore. He then messages me almost incoherent texts stating his life is done and there is no way back, he has ran out of options. So again I am distraught and this destroys my family. It's hideously consuming and I feel I cannot face this all over again.

    I considered involving the police but fear the consequences. He would react badly and knowing the services well I doubt he could be sectioned under the mental health act. He refuses all offers of help but is quick to say how terrible the services are even though he has never engaged. He does not give any prescribed medications time to work and tells me he will not have all those chemicals in his system. It's ironic and would be funny under different circumstances.

    How do you go on living spending all your time thinking you are going to loose your child? It has taken everything I have to get back to any kind of normality this year and suddenly I feel like I'm at the bottom of that pit again with no way out.
  2. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Welcome Nessie:

    Tell us more about your situation.

    How old is your son?
    Does he have a history of drug abuse? Mental illness?
    How long has he been out of your house and where does he live?

    Do you have anyone in your home with you? Do you have any support system?

    Many here have been through or are going through some stage of what you describe. More will be along with advice but the more information you can provide the better!

    Just wanted you to know we're here and we all just share thoughts and ideas on how to muddle through this mess.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    How old is he? What is his drug of choice?

    Psychiatric medications dont help drug users anyway. The illegal drugs stomp out any use the prescribed drugs may have. The first thing your son must do for wellness is to stop using street drugs and he doesnt sound ready.

    Have you ever gone to Al Anon or private therapy for yourself? Many of us have.
  4. Nessie

    Nessie Member

    He is 20, left home in February to live in a bedsit. I have a husband and 2 girls aged 16 and 18. His drug of choice l don't know but he claims that diazepam is the only thing that enables him to function.

    I know he is mentally unwell but he will not accept that drugs are making him worse. I know it sounds selfish but it all feels so unfair. I posted here when he first left and everyone was helpful and understanding but it does feel I am back to despair.

    I took advice and as a family we talk more but still remain divided in our way of dealing with all of this - myself and eldest daughter are more affected. Husband and youngest feel he has to change and do not tolerate his behaviour. I know they love him as much as I do but he is unable to manipulate them so easily.

    My ultimate fear is he will die and I can't bear it. Phone rings, I hear sirens, he isn't active on Facebook - so many things cause me to think the worse to the point that I make myself ill. I continue with this horrible numb way of life. Yesterday felt different, like I totally understood that I have no control over the outcome and yet I feel unable to fully accept this. I have emailed a counselling service tonight as I know I need some help to deal with this. During my last low point I had some physical health problems I ignored. I truly didn't care about what happened to me and even thought that if I died it would be a way out! I don't want to be in that place again. How can I help him and myself?
  5. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    Nessie, you need to focus on yourself. The truth is that you cannot make your son change. If he dies from drug abuse, it isn't within your control.

    My son had a serious suicide attempt a few months ago. I felt like you do now, that if he died I couldn't take it. I've known that my son is a higher risk for suicide due to his father's death. It took him actually taking steps to do it for me to realize that I can't live my life in fear of him dying.

    If you lose yourself, you save no one. You have two girls who need you. You are stressed and probably depressed. Please consider therapy for yourself. You deserve it. You deserve to enjoy the time you have; please don't waste it worrying over your son. Many warm hugs for your aching heart.
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  6. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I haven't been where you are, but when my son was using (not living at home) we had lots of arguments and harsh words. I finally decided that if something bad happened, I would always regret those words.

    Even when I didn't agree with him, I would end our conversation something like this... I wish things were better for you. I love you... Take care. Please keep in touch.

    It took a while, things got better. I hope things improve for you and him. I know it's heart breaking to go thru.

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  7. Ninjamom

    Ninjamom New Member

    Just found this thread and hoping for some help/information/guidance
    i have a 24 year old son who just (3 days ago) moved back in (actually staying in the garage because i do not want his dog in the house)
    he lived in out garage for about a year because his work was seasonal and did not have the money to get a place let alone pay his truck payment and insurance. He finally got sort enough money to rent a place = this this month. He moved out before he got evicted but now he is back in the garage - is is waiting to see if he can pitch a tent at his dads and stay there.
    I come home this evening and find that he has stolen (yet again) about $100 from me - which is money that i needed for bills.
    He has stolen from me before but this time it is the last straw - I told him that he has to talk to his dad and find someplace else to go as of in the morning,
    I am tired of him stealing from the one person who has had his back during all the stuff he has been through.
    there is way more to this story but this is the basis of it.
    am i doing the right thing?
    i dont know if "I" can handle not knowing where he is and if he is alright but I do know that I CAN NOT handle him stealing and taking advantage of me anymore. it puts a strain on my marriage and my personal well-being
  8. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Welcome Ninja

    You may want to start your own thread!

    Yes you did the right thing. Is your son using drugs? Usually they steal when they are under the influence - at least my son did.

    Your son is a grown man. He is 24. Your life is for YOU to live and he has to find his own way.

    Is your husband supportive? Is that son's father? Who else lives in your home?

    Do you have any support system in place for YOU?

    Keep reading this forum and you will read about what others have done in your situation. Take what helps and leave the rest!
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  9. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    Welcome, ninjamom. To start your own discussion or thread, click on the parent emeritus button which will take you to the page displaying all the threads. At the top right is a blue button that reads "post new thread." Click on that one to start your own story. That way members can read about you and be supportive. The people here understand.
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  10. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Welcome Nessie and Ninjamom,
    This situation we are all in here may be one of the most difficult challenges known to parents of adult children. They have gone wayward from everything we have taught them. Wayward, thats' the term I use for my two, who have similar journeys as yours.
    We are drawn into a horrendous dramatic cycle along with these adult children as they choose perilous paths, lamenting their upbringing, manipulating our emotions, hope and love for them.
    I still have hope that my two will find their true potential, but have realized it is completely up to them to seek and find that.

    That's where it ends.

    I am no counselor, just a mom and grandmother and a recent widow, who has literally been through the wringer, waiting for a pivot point. Been through the cycle of comings and goings, opened my home up in hopes that change may come, only to suffer the consequences of their life's choice. Lied to, stolen from, manipulated and turned emotionally upside down and sideways with distress and worry.

    I have come to realize that it ends with me.

    It ends with my refusal to be drawn into the storm.

    It ends with the understanding that there is absolutely nothing that I can do to change another adults lifestyle choices and the consequences there of.

    It ends when I let go and let God.

    It is not easy to find peace when the child you so love becomes an adult and goes off the rails. It is a constant work in progress to switch focus to the only person I have some control of......me. There are many obstacles along the way to becoming steady state and resolved towards living life to the fullest, despite what our adult children are doing.
    We are all at different crossroads when it comes to this work we have before us.
    I feel that addiction, the mental instability that comes with it, is a giant tornado, seeking to suck into its vortex and wreak havoc in the lives of people closest to the addict.
    I call it the "swirly whirly".
    We are left dazed, confused, depressed and in this state, we are most easily manipulated and used.
    It is as if we are swimming sychronistically alongside of our adult children, holding our breath, waiting for the next cycle of chaos.
    This is not good for them, or us.
    It takes a lot to see this and work towards pulling out of the quicksand. Addiction will leave parents feeling that we have to stay "in the game", that to pull up and out of it is "abandonment" and that if we do manage to detach from the drama, we are not "loving" our adult children.
    There is nothing further from the truth.
    Detachment does not mean that we coldly ignore and cut off our beloveds.It means that we begin to see our emotional involvement and downfall with all of this for what it is.......just as destructive as addiction.

    I feel that the best thing we can do for our beloveds is to recognize ourselves as worthy of living full and productive lives, to refuse to be used and abused, to stand up for ourselves and say NO MORE!

    To be able to change patterns of response and mindset takes a lot of work.
    Keep posting and take the advice that works for you. Build a toolbox. There are tons of books and videos, the wisdom from parents here is amazing and comforting in knowing that we are not alone. There are many others who have been where you are.

    The end of the story is not yet written, and even though my two are deeply enmeshed in their choices, I still hold out hope for them. Where there is life, there is hope.
    I love them dearly, but work towards understanding that I cannot help them decide to live differently, I am not responsible for their choices, I do not need to suffer their consequences with them.
    Do I fall back and make mistakes?
    Yup, I am only human.
    I fail, fall, pray, then try my best to pick myself up and start all over again.
    I post here and am so comforted by the loving kindness of fellow warrior parents gracing this site with their wisdom.
    I hold out hope for my two, and me.

    I recognize that nothing changes, if nothing changes, and the only power I have over change, starts with me.

    The best part of life is that every second, every minute, hour, every day, we have an opportunity to do things differently.

    It ends when we shift our focus towards working on ourselves, to healing, living, and yes, finding those precious moments of peace and even joy.

    I think that is the best thing we can do for all of our children, show by example a path to taking care of themselves, by how we care for ourselves.
    Aloha and welcome again to this forum.
    I am so very sorry for your need to be here and for your hurting hearts.

    Hugs to you both and strength be with you on this tough journey.
    You are not alone.
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  11. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Nessie,
    I'm so sorry you had to find us here but so glad you did. We all know the heartache you are experiencing.

    I have received many messages like this from my son. More times than not this is just a way for our difficult adult children to lash out at us. It's kind of like "I'll show them, I'll tell her my life is over, that I'm done, then she'll be sorry she didn't help me"
    Here's the thing, if you are concerned that he might really harm himself then the best thing you can do is call the police. Of course you would have to know where he is.
    What consequences are you fearing? Are you afraid your son will not love you or talk to you? How is he showing that he loves you now?
    If he is living his life out of control he may encounter the police all on his own.
    I've called the police on my son a few times and I have no regrets.
    If your son really wanted help then he would accept it. My son is the same way, he has had more chance and opportunities given to him and he always rebels and complains that it's never good enough.

    Honey, we have already lost our children. If they truly cared about us they would not put us through the drama and chaos they do. I used to play out all kinds of horrific scenarios in my mind of how my son might die out there on the streets. I made myself sick! I couldn't change a thing for him but I could change me and my thinking. I had to come to accept that yes, my son could die. I also had to accept that if he did die I may never know about it. I had to allow myself to grieve for the son that I didn't have anymore. The sweet little boy is long gone. A grown man that has no respect for life has taken his place.
    I will always love my son but I cannot allow him to hold my emotions hostage. I have my own life to live and I have made the choice to live it to fullest.

    None of this is easy. There are no one size fits all answers. We have to journey through these trial as best we can. What I can tell you with certainty is that you can move on from the deep pain. It's not easy but it's so worth the effort. Be good to yourself. Find something you enjoy doing that can help to occupy your time and thoughts.

    I'm glad you are here with us. Keep sharing! We care and it helps to get it out.

    ((HUGS)) to you................
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  12. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    You didn't cause it, you can't control it and you can't cure it. He is accountable for his own destiny. Seek therapy for yourself. You have family who need you and love you. I know your love your son as I love my own difficult son. We need to preserve our lives and live on for the others who need us. You are not alone. :group-hug:
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  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It will end when you decide to end your own misery...let go and let God...
  14. Hello Nessie, all have given wonderful advice. My daughter is bipolar and she self medicates herself through drugs, alcohol, and risky sexual situations. She wound up in jail and is back home living with me. At first she accepted help, got on medication and I thought we were finally getting somewhere...until she was fired. Thus began a downward spiral into her old ways and she refuses to take any medications at this time, says she knows how to control herself better. Being that she lives back at home she has rules that she has to follow or she is out on the streets. In my heartbreak I found this group. It's hard as you love them SO much but, there is only so much YOU can do. It's time to put the focus on yourself and your family and show him your serious. If he does not want to change you simply cannot help anymore.

    I hear you loud and clear of being afraid he will kill himself as it's the very same fear I have too. But, honestly ask yourself. Is he any better today, with all you have done? We simply cannot do anymore than everything. I am at the point in my daughter's life that there is no further direction I can give her...none, we did it all. Hang in there dear, am praying for you!

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  15. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    Every time I read your writings I get strength from it. You are not on this board as much as you used to be but I can tell you that YOU are one of the main reasons that I am where I am today in all of this. You have such a way with words.

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  16. Nessie

    Nessie Member

    Thank you everyone, all wise words which do give me strength . Mostly I have learnt how to continue with my life but it's like a dark cloud and when I laugh or something nice happens I feel guilty! I know it is wrong to feel guilty but that is how it is.

    I used to feel embarrassed by his behaviour and even ashamed but now I just feel so very sad. I'm starting to believe there is nothing I can do or could have done but it doesn't always work. I live on a small island and am a nurse in the only hospital, every morning on my way to work I expect him to have been admitted, if I hear sirens I imagine it's for him. A person could easily drive themselves mad! I would love some time off from it, a rest. I am sure most on this forum can relate to this.

    Since our argument I haven't really spoken to him, stalked Facebook to check he is still alive but haven't messaged. I think this is because I don't want more drama and I really need time out emotionally. I have read this site regularly since January and although I could relate to the experiences I don't think I truly believed he was selfish or manipulative. How foolish I have been. However, this realisation offers no comfort.
  17. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    Don't be so hard on yourself. You are not foolish; you are a loving mother that wants the best for her son. We all want things to be good for our children and want them to be mentally and physically healthy.

    However it's his life and he is in control of it. We cannot control the universe!

    We have to accept the truth as it is today. We cannot predict the future. No one can.

    I have to say that you should have peace in your home now that he is gone and you need to focus on that and yourself and your other family members that need you to be mentally healthy! You cannot throw them all aside to save one that has to save himself.

    You have gotten great advice here. Find strength from that and everyone here in one way or another in the same boat.
  18. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    RN, thank you so much for your kindness and encouragement. I have not posted as much, working hard at trying to hold my head above the absolute insanity addiction brings into a family. It is a constant work, for sure. I can tell you also dear sister warrior that YOU have helped me immeasurably. We are all in this together, hoping and praying for our beloveds to wake up and reach for their potential.
    In the meantime, we need to find ours. No more holding our breath, or putting our own lives on hold, waiting for change. No more guilt, or thinking maybe if we did this, or that, no more feeling badly if we take steps to find joy.
    Life is too darn short.
    Love, peace of heart and mind and big hugs,
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  19. Nessie

    Nessie Member

    I think I already know the answer but I just need reassurance. After no contact for a week I messaged him that I love him, because I do and I couldn't live with myself if he did anything and our last contact was an argument. Now I have a load of mostly confused messages about how he has messed his rent up, destroyed his duvet and has no friends. I knew this would happen

    Now I am conflicted about what to do, do I step in with money? Told me he had thought about suicide, even had a rope and that he wouldn't do it again. Said he is waiting for a mental health appointment, I have been begging him to do this for several years. If he is serious I want to help but I fear I've heard much of this before and I feel guarded. Should I wait until he really does start to help himself? What if he needs me with this part and if I don't help he gets lost again?

    I am lucky that my parents are supporting me but also keeping in contact with him and trying to help. My mum gets it as her sister sadly killed herself after years of substance abuse and mental health issues. She knows he needs to help himself first. It angers me that they have to be involved in all of this but I really appreciate it. This hideous dance continues!!
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    He may be ramping things up to scare you so you will give him money that he will use for drugs.

    This ramping up is common with drug users to soften your heart and/or scare you into handing money over. If you want to fix his rent problem, which very well may just be that he spent rent money on drugs and is likely to repeat itself, pay the rent directly to the landlord. Never give a drug addict a dime. Anything you give in cash will be used for drugs.

    It is not at all uncommon for them to promise to do what you want them to do in order to butter you up and get $$$. Guard yourself. Actions matter, not words. Even one time seeing a therapist is often to placate you, not to help himself. Beware. If he is getting better in sixmonths and still seeing mental health prople, that matters. Going once or twice means little.

    Sounds to me like son is scaring you in order to compel you to chip in some money for drugs. Money doesnt help them. Love cant cure thrm or they wouldnt be sick...we all love our kids so much. Nobody would be here if love cured them.

    Dont forget the need to be sane yourself. This is now out of your hands. Help the only person you can help....yourself.

    Tske care.